OTTAWA, May 12 /CNW/ - Canada's health spending per capita is the
fourth-highest of 17 countries assessed in The Conference Board of
Canada's How Canada Performs: Health Spending (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/healthSpending.aspx) rankings. But Canada ranks just 10th in overall health performance. Several countries spend less than Canada
yet have healthier populations overall.
"The adage that you get what you pay for applies in general to
health-care spending, but there are some major exceptions among the
world's most developed countries," said David Stewart-Patterson, The
Conference Board of Canada's new Vice-President, Public Policy. "Canada
has relatively high overall spending and middle-of-the-pack health
outcomes. Countries such as Australia and Sweden spend less than Canada
per person, and generally get better results."
"Many factors affect the health of a population - and how the money is
being spent is just as important as how much is being spent."
In 2008, 10 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) went to
health spending - the equivalent of US$4,079 per person. On key
indicators of population health, however, Canada falls in the middle of
the pack at best. For example, it ranks seventh on life expectancy, and
fares much worse on infant mortality, with the second highest infant
mortality rate among its peers. Despite similar levels of income per
capita, Canada's life expectancy is lower than that of Australia, while
the infant mortality rate is higher in Canada.
While Canada is an outlier in terms of the relationship between
per-capita expenditures and population health, it is not one of the
most extreme cases--these occur at the opposite ends of the health
Japan, the country with the lowest health expenditures (US$2,729), has
excellent health outcomes - the Japanese have both the highest life
expectancy and the second-lowest infant mortality rate among the peer
The United States is by far the biggest health spender, at over US$7,500
per person in 2008. However, the U.S. has the worse results by far of
any peer country, ranking last overall on population health. The U.S.
records the lowest life expectancy and ranks last on another key health
indicator, infant mortality.
The Conference Board of Canada will be assessing the sustainability of
health care through the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care
(CASHC). The purpose of this multi-year initiative is to provide
Canadian business leaders and policy makers with insightful,
forward-looking, quantitative analysis of the sustainability of the
Canadian health-care system and all of its facets. CASHC will be
launched on Friday, May 13 in Toronto.
How Canada Performs is a multi-year research program at The Conference
Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and
weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada
Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance
compared to 16 peer countries in six performance categories: Economy,
Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.
This year, the Conference Board is assessing Canada's performance on 10
As Vice-President, Public Policy, Stewart-Patterson will be responsible
for research and networks in the areas of innovation, national security
and public safety, health, energy, environment and transportation
policy. He comes to the Conference Board after 15 years with the
Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), where, for the past seven
years, he held the post of Executive Vice-President.
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448